Practical Exercise Now on Sale!

Yes! Available in many formats on

Adara Triskittenion has been admitted to the school of her dreams, Dorrance Academy, the premier magical research university of the Commonality of the Timeless. Her objective: Become a faculty member and stay forever. Her family, House Triskittenion, the Hall of the Three Kittens, still has claims on her time. For most of the year she has books to read, courses to ace, but first that trivial test of combat magic skill, the Practical Exercise.

Readers are doubtless familiar with magical academies modeled after English Public (meaning private, boarding) Schools. In those hideous magical academies, student ages range from 10 or so to 18. There are vast numbers of unpleasant practical jokes, students destroying each other’s property, students in charge of disciplining younger students, beatings and floggings, and rarely a modest interest in academic life. Clubs and team sports are viewed as the critical part of a student’s education. Studying is at best secondary when not deprecated. The Faculty are teachers, not academicians; they do not perform research or write scholarly works.

Dorrance Academy is not one of these places. Dorrance resembles an American research university, though there are several tracks. One set of students arrives, collects marginally passing grades, makes social contacts, and receives a passing diploma. A second set of students works respectably hard, passes well a legitimate and respectably lengthy set of courses, and is prepared for a career. For a very few students, academic work leads toward an academic vocation. There are athletic facilities, but intramural team sports are a modest interest, while intercollegiate athletics do not exist.

A minor authorial aside: As it happens, your author is also a research scientist, a retired physics professor. Once upon a time, many decades ago. I was an undergraduate, graduate student, and post-doctoral fellow at America’s Dorrance Academy, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I have woven into the tale a fair piece of advice on how to succeed and be at the top at the top-line university. If you are headed off to such a place, please keep my advice in mind. You may also assume that a number of the events here are lightly disguised from real life occurrences.

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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1 Response to Practical Exercise Now on Sale!

  1. Enigma says:

    It’s out on Amazon now, too.

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